Cacciatore, meaning ‘hunter’ in Italian, is also the name given to a wonderful winter-warming stew. It’s a well-loved Italian classic, with many variations to explore. Capsicum (peppers, for my American friends) and/or mushrooms are quite often added and I have no doubt that there’s a debate to be had over whether to choose red or white wine. My one stipulation is that if you’re going to make this dish, you really must use chicken thigh fillets, or even better if you can source them, chicken cutlets (thigh fillets on the bone). They will remain infinitely more tender than breast fillets and are also much more flavourful. So pour yourself a glass of vino, get into the cucina and celebrate winter with this Cacciatore on your table.
Chicken Cacciatore | Gather and Graze
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 8 Free-Range Chicken Thigh Fillets
- 1 Medium Brown Onion (diced)
- 1 Medium Carrot (diced)
- 1 Stick Celery (diced)
- 2 Cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 Anchovy Fillets
- 125mls (½ Cup) Red Wine (I used an Australian Shiraz)
- 2 x 400g (14oz) Tins of Cherry (or Chopped) Tomatoes
- ½ tsp Aleppo Pepper or Mild Chilli Flakes (optional)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ½ Cup (approx 16) Kalamata Olives
- Small Bunch of Flat-Leaf Parsley (chopped)
Heat a large casserole pot or saucepan over medium-high heat. In two batches, brown the chicken thigh fillets in the olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove the fillets to a bowl once browned and set aside for the moment.
Reduce the heat to medium and sauté the diced onion, carrot and celery, along with a little salt, in the same pot for about 10 minutes, until softened and tender. Add the garlic and anchovy fillets and continue to cook for a further couple of minutes, until the anchovies have broken down and mixed in with the vegetables.
Pour in the red wine and using a wooden spoon, scrape the base of the pot to release any delicious brown bits that may have stuck. Allow to simmer until reduced, leaving only a couple of tablespoons of the syrupy wine. Add the tinned tomatoes, Aleppo pepper (if using) and bay leaves, stir to combine and bring back up to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, before returning the chicken back to the pot. Simmer gently for about 45 minutes, adding in the olives for the final 15 minutes. Check once again for seasoning, remove the bay leaves and sprinkle the top with chopped parsley.
Fabulous served with pasta, rice or a crusty loaf of bread on the side… anything to make sure that all the delicious sauce gets mopped up.
I think we use white too Margot, and always extra olives as it’s one my daughter usually makes and she’s a big fan 🙂 I sometimes use a combination of drumsticks and thighs too.
Pleased to hear that this is a family favourite in your home too Beck! That’s another vote for white wine… looks like I’ve been outnumbered. 😉
Looks delicious 🙂
Thank you so much! 🙂
As I’ve never eaten this, I’m guessing I’d still stick my neck out for this right now! So into anything with toms – you’d never actually guess it was summer over here. Although today I’m braving summer clothes (only 3 layers)! Loving the olives. And you’re right about thigh quarters (think that’s how we call ’em). So much better for any relatively slow cooked stew and stock.
No skimping on the tomatoes with this recipe Johnny… in fact the next time I make it, thinking that I’ll halve the amount of toms and add a sliced red capsicum to the mix instead. Great to mix it up regardless from time to time! Hoping that summer arrives soon for you in the UK. Any good kitchen finds at the local op shops of late?
It has, just today. Huh, probably only for today. Must make the most of it. 🙂
Nothing to report re-kitchen anything. Haven’t developed any recipes; nor have I bothered to bake. Although, I do have a new idea/concept baked mini cake for you know what – can’t bring myself to mention that word we’ll be dreading in 6 mths time. Hope you’re well!
😀 You’d be more than welcome to create a guest post here on G&G as it gets closer to the ‘Festival that you will not name’. It would be a shame to not share this exciting new concept! You have 6 months to think it over and let me know… Enjoy the sunshine today while it lasts!
And it’s back today. Summer, that is.
How nice to be able to create a guest post – most honoured! Will have a think about that. I just have the outer shell/covering in my head – as in look. Haven’t really thought about the rest. 🙂
Oh, this Antipodean cook has the dish as a firm favourite all year round 🙂 ! OK: have to try olives in mine and I kind’of prefer it with a full-bodied white! Oh, rice usually seems to accompany . . . and a simple salad is not far away . . .
I served some lightly steamed green beans on the side, but yes… can imagine that with a salad on the side, this could be served in the warmer months as well. Thanks Eha! A vote for white wine… interesting! 😉